The Dog Whisperer?!

LizMarie

New Member
Messages
2,002
Location
NYC
I don't have Nat. Geo. at home but I love the channel especially the show Taboo. Anyway I was at my BF's house and while he walked around from the Celebrity Basketball Tournament or whatever it was I changed the channel to Nat. Geo. and they were giving the Dog Whisperer. I've heard a lot about him and was interested to see his training techniques until I see him poking the dogs in the neck. Sometimes I had no idea why he was doing it and it was like oh the dog lifted it's head or some stupid crap, lets just say from that episode I'm not a fan especially with all his vibes and aura mumbo jumbo.

Does anyone know why he seems to jab dogs in the throat, because I don't get it?
 

Keitone

New Member
Messages
154
Location
Carbondale, Il
He isn't jabbing dogs in the throat. It supposed to simulate how another dog would discipline. It just gets their attention and refocuses their mind. Gotta think like a dog.
 

Mel&Keith

Mod Squad Member
Messages
7,181
Location
Pasadena, TX
Depending on what time of dog you have some need a physical reminder that what they're doing is wrong. Our Bulldog doesn't understand when you tell him not to do something. Since his breed is not highly intelligent, forceful physical reminders are far more effective. That doesn't mean beating a dog is ok but a quick swat on his fat but usually gets his attention.

The quick poke on the neck it just like using a pronged training color. It doesn't hurt them but it simulates how another dog would give a warning nip. Dogs give very subtle signs that they're about to start a bad behavior or go into an aggressive mode. I can tell when our Chihuahua is about to go on a rampage by the quick look he gives me or the flash of a sideways look he gives out bulldog he gives him before he bites.

He knows these signs and that's why you see him correct the dog before you've even realize it's happened. The more you pay attention to the behavior leading up the the lashing out the faster you can stop it.
 

LizMarie

New Member
Messages
2,002
Location
NYC
;)

You're thinking too much like a gecko lol
Maybe. I'm just used to watching Victoria Stillwell and the other guy that trains dogs to do cool tricks and they get the job done without any physical punishment so I was kind of confused especially since the dog he was poking kept letting out a yelp each time he did it. Me and my boyfriend were like NO stop it! lol.
 
Last edited:

Barbel

New Member
Messages
384
Location
Phoenix
Maybe. I'm just used to watching Victoria Stillwell and the other guy that trains dogs to do cool tricks and they get the job done without any physical punishment so I was kind of confused especially since the dog he was poking kept letting out a yelp each time he did it. Me and my boyfriend were like NO stop it! lol.
It's not physical punishment. It's just a tap to divert the dog's attention away from the bad behavior or situation. Kind of like if someone came up behind you and tapped you on the shoulder to get your attention. It doesn't hurt at all, but it makes you turn around doesn't it? If the dog was yelping it was likely out of frustration because Cesar wasn't allowing the dog to do whatever it wanted; like when a child throws a tantrum because they don't get their way. I like Cesar's methods; they are just different than a typical trainer. I wish he would come to my house and rehabilitate my dogs!
 

Mel&Keith

Mod Squad Member
Messages
7,181
Location
Pasadena, TX
I did catch Victoria Stillwell last night on "It's me or the dog". I'm not sure if her other episodes deal with more difficult dogs or not but in this one she only dealt with good dogs who had no rules. She told the lady not to jump up and down singing or run while she was feeding her 8 dogs and feeding time would be less manic. Duh! Maybe she takes on different type dog personalities than Ceasar does?
 

LizMarie

New Member
Messages
2,002
Location
NYC
I did catch Victoria Stillwell last night on "It's me or the dog". I'm not sure if her other episodes deal with more difficult dogs or not but in this one she only dealt with good dogs who had no rules. She told the lady not to jump up and down singing or run while she was feeding her 8 dogs and feeding time would be less manic. Duh! Maybe she takes on different type dog personalities than Ceasar does?
I saw that episode and it was weak but then again I've only watched the Dog Whisperer once and all he was doing was introducing dogs to a dog park so I didn't get the point of the hr long show, lol. Victoria deals with wide selection of dogs like some that are so fearful/aggressive their own owners can't hold them, dogs that want to rip another apart, separation anxiety, etc. but those were the old shows when she was in England now I dunno what the hell she's doing, lol.

You should try the one with the aggressive Shih-Tzu. The couple had already tried another trainer and the trainer had told them to use a choke collar which obviously wasn't working because she kept doing the same crap but now was passing out because of the choke collar restricting her airway. Or the one with the pekinesse (I know I spelled that wrong) that was only bonded with the mother and would try anything and everything to push the husband away, now that dog had issues. I like her show and the way she tells people off because she's not scared of telling people the truth.
 

goReptiles

New Member
Messages
2,639
Location
Georgia
There have been several reports of abuse with Millan. He has put puppies on dog treadmills and made them run till exhausted. He has nearly cut the blood supply off of a dog by doing an alpha roll over. He's nearly suffocated another dog with a choke collar. He's been sued a few good times for animals abuse. His techniques can be successfully used, but he goes overboard in many cases, and what's sad is people don't typically read his warning and try the techniques at home. Aversive training is fine if you know how to use the techniques and you are able to time everything perfectly. It's not a training method that is recommended for most people, especially those with little training experience.

Here's a hub that I have on his techniques, and why I don't like them:
http://hubpages.com/hub/Cesar-Millan-is-Bad

It also includes a percent of dogs who react poorly towards the more physical and aversive training and actually end up acting more aggressive because of the particular training.
 
Last edited:

LizMarie

New Member
Messages
2,002
Location
NYC
There have been several reports of abuse with Millan. He has put puppies on dog treadmills and made them run till exhausted. He has nearly cut the blood supply off of a dog by doing an alpha roll over. He's nearly suffocated another dog with a choke collar. He's been sued a few good times for animals abuse. His techniques can be successfully used, but he goes overboard in many cases, and what's sad is people don't typically read his warning and try the techniques at home. Aversive training is fine if you know how to use the techniques and you are able to time everything perfectly. It's not a training method that is recommended for most people, especially those with little training experience.

Here's a hub that I have on his techniques, and why I don't like them:
http://hubpages.com/hub/Cesar-Millan-is-Bad

It also includes a percent of dogs who react poorly towards the more physical and aversive training and actually end up acting more aggressive because of the particular training.
Thanks for that little bit of info, I knew I didn't like him very much. I really like your article and agree with everything there, lol.
 

bjleemkuil

New Member
Messages
399
Location
Virginia, USA
There have been several reports of abuse with Millan. He has put puppies on dog treadmills and made them run till exhausted. He has nearly cut the blood supply off of a dog by doing an alpha roll over. He's nearly suffocated another dog with a choke collar. He's been sued a few good times for animals abuse. His techniques can be successfully used, but he goes overboard in many cases, and what's sad is people don't typically read his warning and try the techniques at home. Aversive training is fine if you know how to use the techniques and you are able to time everything perfectly. It's not a training method that is recommended for most people, especially those with little training experience.

Here's a hub that I have on his techniques, and why I don't like them:
http://hubpages.com/hub/Cesar-Millan-is-Bad

It also includes a percent of dogs who react poorly towards the more physical and aversive training and actually end up acting more aggressive because of the particular training.
References?
 

ILoveGeckos14

New Member
Messages
944
Location
Florida
I love Cesar haha he joked these horse trainers that couldn't train their dog one time. He's like "and when your horse does what you want, do you say: 'GOOD HORSE! GOOD HORSE!!'" :main_laugh: I guess they were giving too much good energy even when the dog was being bad. So that pops into my mind from time to time, GOOD HORSE!!!! :main_laugh:

The other episode I watched pretty recently, he had a feral dog and he used his sons to help box the dog in and he did the poking thing.....to his sons. lol He did it to get his sons to show calm assertive energy and stand where he wanted them. I was like did he really just do that psttt poke thing to his sons!? Maybe he'll come out with a book on behavioral techniques to use for children.:shocked:

I also like that Cesar tells the owners it's their fault because, in general, its a truth that many people like to avoid. It's like, yes your dog was bred for sheep herding and you are a 50 year old man that takes it for a walk once a week you are going to have problems. I think people forget that many dogs were bred with a specific purpose in mind and get the dog based on look and not what is actually a good match for them. It's like a person with a personality that suits a bull mastiff getting a dalmatian,retriever, or terrier. I'm happy that he has tried to shed light on this issue in his show from time to time.
 

SFgeckos

New Member
Messages
842
Location
CA
Everyone I've ever talked to that had a formal education in animal behavior disapproves of the canine training techniques used in his television show. Also, I know that the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior is also against his techniques. I admit that I've seen the show a few times (because I like to have a good laugh) and I always ask myself- how much time did it REALLY take to modify the dog's behavior? and how much of the content was edited? Also, how long did those behaviors last after they were modified (since there is no followup on these animals)

I mean just common sense, is this even safe?? Imagine if there was a large dog, like a pitbull or rottie...he would have his hands permanently damaged- which is why most of his shows don't have large dogs?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfZMVzckClE

Here is a great educational link:

http://askdryin.com/dominance.php

Jon
 

Alusdra

New Member
Messages
475
Location
Washington, DC
I can't watch the Dog Whisperer at all. It makes me almost sick sometimes watching what he does to those dogs. I also have never found a behaviorist with any sort of training and who reads the scientific papers on behavior that has anything good to say about Milan-style training. For boarded veterinary behaviorists 'dominance' is a dirty word. Check out their main website- the first News section is supporting a protest of Milan's methods (quoted below)

My family had one of the dogs for which these sorts of techniques make the dog much worse. We started with a scared and somewhat undersocialized street dog and ended up 'training' her with dominance rolls and choke collars to attack basically everything not her family with no warning whatsoever. We almost put her down before our vet gave us the name of a very good trainer (more like Victoria Stillwell) who almost totally turned our dog around. She ended up dying young and suddenly from cancer, but she was almost to the point where we would trust her around complete strangers. Plus we felt much more comfortable knowing techniques to control her when she started to get ramped up and out of control. She even met and learned to live with another dog thanks to our trainer! We had resigned ourselves to not having another until she died/ we had to euthanize her.

There are so many dogs this wouldn't work on, and so many ways you can go wrong using techniques like this, even if you have been using it for decades. I worry so much about what happens after the show, or people watching the show who think they know what they are doing because they saw a couple of clips. I see so many dogs that are milder versions of our unintentionally trained attack dog from use of these techniques.

Proper behavior modification is really HARD, takes a lot of time and effort and dedication to it. And it is almost always the owners fault (there are rare times the animal might have a genetic predisposition or a medical problem). So the owner needs to be educated in the proper way to respond. Cesar does get this right, and has a few other points that are correct. But most of his techniques... those poor dogs always look so terrified, confused and scared.

The techniques of trainers on any of the Animal Planet shows... or even the 'dog town' show on NatGeo are much much better and show the length of time- months in most cases- to get permanent, meaningful modifications to behavior.

From http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonline/
This letter is the AVSAB's response to, and expresses support for, the effort by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and other United Kingdom Animal Welfare groups in voicing concern about some of the techniques used by Cesar Millan, who announced an upcoming tour in Europe. Further information can be obtained via the following website:

www.dogwelfarecampaign.org

AVSAB Letter in Support of RSPCA

Letters from the European Society of Veterinary Clinical Ethology (ESVCE) Regarding Industry Sponsorship/Promotion of Cesar Millan

(Note: Other letters concerning Cesar Millan and Meriel's use of him in promotions can be found in the press release area accessible by clicking on "Media Menu" in the Public Menu)

The following links are to letters written by ESVCE to Bayer, Meriel and National Geographic Channel regarding Cesar Millan:

Bayer Letter

Meriel Letter

National Geographic Letter

For further information regarding ESVCE, go to their website at:

www.esvce.org
From http://www.dogwelfarecampaign.org/why-not-dominance.php
Although it has been widely accepted amongst qualified behaviourists and trainers for many years that the interpretation of dog behaviour based on a ‘dominance model’ relies on unsupported assumptions, this outdated approach is still used by those that have not had the opportunity to study the most recent literature and clinical practice.
 

Alusdra

New Member
Messages
475
Location
Washington, DC
Another great article with a ton of references:

Suppression is typically done through the use of force or flooding. Suppression of behavior stops the behavior in the moment, but requires the dog owner to constantly repeat the steps necessary over and over. Because so many dog owners want to know "What do I do when my dog..." this feels like a solution. However, it is not actually changing the underlying cause of the behavior.

A dog with modified behavior willingly offers the alternate behavior, such as looking at the owner instead of lunging toward a strange dog, without a tight leash or physical restraint, allowing the owner to reward the more desirable behavior, rather than "correct" the undesired behavior.
 

LizMarie

New Member
Messages
2,002
Location
NYC
Um what flooding!? I think I might have missed the definition somewhere.

And I'd like to know how Cesar actually works!? If these techniques are only to be used by professionals or with a professional how are any of techniques suppose to be long lasting?! Doesn't seem like he trains owners to deal with a dog and while they might respect him, does the dog really respect ALL people!? I don't get it. When I see Victoria Stillwell she basically trains the owners to help train their dog for x,y,z then comes back a little while later to see if there are any issues in implementing the techniques which she then tries to rectify, which I get.
 

Chewbecca

www.ellaslead.com
Messages
1,772
Location
60 miles south of Chicago
Ahem. hahahaha, I'm going to give my possibly extended version of MY two cents on Cesar Milan's "Techniques".

I am of the dog school of mind that one does not TEACH using positive punishment techniques (giving someone something to make them feel bad=positive punishment).
That's an awful way to teach, imo, TEACHING a dog to feel bad for doing what is wanted of him.

How would you like it if your parents taught YOU not to speak by smacking you, or pinching you?
Or, if they taught you how to pick up your clothes by pushing you down on the ground?

Wouldn't you learn better if they SHOWED you how to pick up your clothes, or how not to speak when they are speaking?

How about if you got rewarded for doing good things instead of ONLY being punished when you did bad things?

I'm all about letting your dog know who's boss AFTER the dog has learned who the "boss" is.
I'd rather have a dog that THINKS than a dog that stupidly submits out of fear of punishment.
I'd rather teach my dog to sit, lay down, heel via being rewarded while being taught when she does any of those things, than pinch her or give her a "pop on the prong collar" when I am teaching her to sit.

Now, once my dog displays that she knows how to do these things, but then decides she's not going to do them???
FINE. But NEVER TEACH using punishment.

I know my dog KNOWS how to walk properly on leash. I've rewarded her for doing so.
So, if she pulls on leash, I can give a leash correction because I dang well KNOW she knows better.

But during an adjustment period, or a teaching period, I would NEVER use punishment to help my dog adjust or teach her to do something.

It makes for, more often than not, a bad relationship with a human and his dog, and it can cause more unpredictable behavior/response in bad situations.

As I said, I'd rather have a dog conditioned to THINK in unpleasant situations than a dog that just submits but doesn't know how to THINK its way through a situation.
Because, ultimately, when put into an emergency situation, a dog that has been rewarded and treated well is going to respond better and THINK.
A dog that has been positively punished is more likely to crack.
 

goReptiles

New Member
Messages
2,639
Location
Georgia
References?
I can find the references and articles for the lawsuits, as I posted them within the comments where someone was arguing that Millan was the best trainer in the world and his methods are great for anyone to include beginners who have never trained a dog before.

As for statistics, it's been a while since I've located them. I can't remember where I got them from.




Chewbecca, I agree with everything you said. Although, I will also say that the adversive training can work if it's done to the absolute tee with timing and accuracy. In my opinion, though, dogs are more reliable when their trained with more positive methods though. Most often dogs that are trained with punishment type methods will fall backwards and will sometimes worsen.
 
Last edited:
Top